Spain highlights encouraging CARREFOUR Q4.

españacarrefourCarrefour posted sales up 3.2% to EUR22.20 billion (USD29.47 billion) in its Q4 2013. France posted a turnover increase of 2% to EUR10.60 billion (USD14.07 billion) thanks to positive like-for-likes of 2.2%, confirming the turnaround observed in the previous quarter (+3.3%).

This was achieved on the back of good performance on all formats, with hypermarkets up 1.3% excluding calendar effect to EUR6.10 billion (USD8.10 billion). Food continued to grow while non-food sales are understood to be resilient. Supermarkets are up 2.1% to EUR3.38 billion (USD4.49 billion) while convenience stores and other formats are up a robust 4.3% to EUR1.13 billion (USD1.50 billion).

Muted growth rates in emerging markets due to depreciating exchange rates and a troublesome Eastern Europe and Italy, meant international operational sales were down in current terms but up 4.2% at constant exchange rates to EUR11.59 billion (USD15.39 billion).

European Operations, excluding France, posted sales down 0.7% to EUR5.99 billion (USD7.95 billion). Italy saw sales down 5.8% in like-for-likes on the back of already-weak performance a year ago (a 6.5% fall).

The big news emerging from this quarter is Spain, which posted long-awaited stable like-for-likes (0.2%) and a sales increase of 1.2%. This comes after quarter of improvement in performance across the food categories. We are careful about calling it a trend, as a similar uplift in China in Q3 has proved short-lived: Chinese like-for-likes are very much in the red again, sliding 3.1% despite last quarter’s positive performance.

Latin America posted sales up 11.1% to EUR3.97 billion (USD6.57 billion), but showing a 6.9% fall at current exchange rates including petrol. Sales were boosted by like-for-likes in Brazil and Argentina growing 5.6% and 29.7% respectively.

All figures are at constant exchange rates excluding petrol including VAT except stated otherwise, pro forma of countries divested over the past year.

An Insight feature analysing Carrefour’s 2013 Q4 results will follow shortly

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